The Ministry Of Justice has recently announced that some mediation sessions will be funded by the government, but all that is on offer is that separating couples will be offered one free session if one of them is already in receipt of legal aid for help with mediation.
In reality though, few cases are resolved at the first mediation session even when the parties get on! It is therefore unlikely that little will be gained by separating couples and sceptics will be of the view that this is a way of keeping cases away from the courts in order to save the government money. The new family court was proclaimed by the government to be the best thing to happen to the family justice system. However, for those on the coal face little has changed other than the courts being busier than ever with longer waiting lists, due to there being more people representing themselves as a result of the huge cuts to the legal aid budget.
If you have recently separated then you will need the help and advice of an experienced family lawyer, an initial appointment will point you in the right direction and could potentially save you thousands and take away some of the stress too. Mediation may be the way forward for you but you will also need practical legal advice and taking this advice early on could help you resolve issues amicably and swiftly.
If you would like any advice on mediation or any other family matters, our Family team on 0161 475 7676.